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Country weekend getaway in southwest New Hampshire

When the walls seem to close in, the weather is unpredictable and the snow on the mountains is not up to your standards, fight off that cabin fever with a getaway to a country inn. The Chesterfield Inn, in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, seems designed for a winter escape.

The bright red  of sumac beside the pond at Chesterfield Inn, New Hampshire. The comfortable Chesterfield Inn in Chesterfield, New Hampshire.
©Stillman Rogers Photography 2014
The comfortable Chesterfield Inn in Chesterfield, New Hampshire.
©Stillman Rogers Photography 2014

Big, comfortable rooms with all the amenities

When this inn began, the owners didn’t retrofit guest rooms into the old farmhouse, but instead put them into attached and adjacent new buildings that are so well designed that they appear to be parts of the original farm complex. So, unlike most retrofitted inn rooms, those at The Chesterfield Inn are expansive, with plenty of space to spread out. All rooms have gas fireplaces and many have deep whirlpool tubs big enough for two and the cathedral ceilings add a sense of luxury.

While many of the rooms are located in a wing of the main inn, ours was in an adjacent but separate building, rather like having a cozy little house of our own. On a cold and snowy night we settled-in in front of our fireplace, each with a good book we found in the room. A look out our big back door revealed a private porch that would be perfect for sunbathing in warmer weather. It also revealed a beautiful big field that would be great for kids in fair weather and for sliding in winter. The king-sized, bed was extremely comfortable and later it made falling asleep over a book an easy thing to do.

If you stay with then from Sunday night until Thursday night, you get $50 off the second night. Check for other deals and specials.

Gorgeous, generous and inviting spaces

A sense of peace and relaxation comes as soon as guests enter the reception area. The large, high-ceilinged room invites you to enjoy one of the wing-back chairs set in front of a warming woodstove. Beyond there is a glimpse of a guest lounge furnished in grouping of settees and wing chairs, an inviting place to meet other guests or just to settle in for a quiet chat over a glass of wine in front of the fireplace. Each afternoon guests gather here for a complimentary tea and fresh-baked cookies.

Outstanding dining by an experienced chef

Chef Robert Nabstedt has been with the inn for more than eleven years and his reputation has continued to grow. He changes his menu seasonally and succeeds in bringing the taste of the season to the table in exciting ways, bringing fresh and enticing flavor combinations to the table.

Appetizers are interesting and generous. I chose Pan-Asian Barbecued Shrimp with a Nishiki Rice Cake and grilled pineapple salsa. The spiciness of the shrimp was nicely tempered by the softer flavors of the rice cake and salsa. My dinner partner opted for Grilled Wild Game (pheasant and wild boar) sausages with balsamic-braised red cabbage and an ale mustard sauce. One sausage was mild and the other spicy, offset by the tang of the cabbage.

Likewise, the entrees were outstanding, and choosing among the seven options was difficult. This chef likes to offer wild game on his menu and this one offered Pan Roasted Pheasant with Pomegranate-Orange Gastrique and Braised Leeks. The leeks were perfect with the tender sweet gaminess of the pheasant. I chose Walnut and Rosemary-crusted Lamb Chops with Merlot Glaze and Red Onion Marmalade. The lamb was beautifully prepared, cooked rare just as I had ordered, and melted on the tongue. The red onion marmalade and roasted potatoes were the perfect accompaniment.

Getting to Chesterfield

From the greater Boston area, take Route 2 west and at Gardner take Route 140 north (note: be careful NOT to take the Route 140 south exit at Westminster). Drive through Winchendon and follow Route 12 north to Keene. At Keene turn left onto Route 9 west to West Chesterfield. Turn right on Cross Road. From Hartford take I-91 north and then exit 3 east for Keene, NH, and Route 9. Cross the Connecticut River and watch for Cross Road on your left after about 2 miles.

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